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Kaczynski Seeks Return of Bomb, Documents Seized by FBI

August 12, 2003|From Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — Unabomber Ted Kaczynski has asked the U.S. government to return his personal papers and other materials, including a bomb confiscated by the FBI seven years ago.

In papers filed in federal court in Sacramento, Kaczynski asked the government to ship the materials to a University of Michigan archive that contains more than 15,000 pages of his papers.

Those items include a pipe bomb and tons of documents, including his voluminous autobiography, according to R. Steven Lapham, one of the federal prosecutors who tried the case. Also on the list are Kaczynski's tools, a can of matches, a pair of tweezers and a hatchet, which were confiscated when he was arrested at his Montana cabin.

Kaczynski is serving life without the possibility of parole at a maximum security prison in Colorado.

Lapham would not discuss whether Kaczynski is entitled to the material, but legal experts said the government would probably be allowed to keep them.

Though courts have turned down his appeals, if he does succeed in getting a new trial, prosecutors would be forced to start the case all over.

Kaczynski concedes that the issue is complex, and legal rulings are inconsistent. But he said the government should release the material for the sake of posterity.

"This court should take into consideration Kaczynski's interest, the public's interest, and the interest of scholars and researchers in the knowledge to be obtained from the study of Kaczynski's documents," Kaczynski wrote. "Such study will help to reveal the true facts of Kaczynski's case."

According to the government and Kaczynski's own guilty plea in January 1998, between 1978 and 1995 he killed three men with bombs and injured 23 other people in 16 bombings.

In September 1995, the Washington Post and the New York Times published his 35,000-word anti-technology manifesto at the government's request.

The phraseology was immediately recognized by his sister-in-law, Linda Patrik. Weeks later, her husband, David Kaczynski, went to authorities with his suspicions, convinced that his brother had written the tract.

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